Black cobra (Naja naja karachiensis) lysates exhibit broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities

Mehwish Sagheer, Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Junaid Iqbal, Naveed Ahmed Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


It is hypothesized that animals living in polluted environments possess antimicrobials to counter pathogenic microbes. The fact that snakes feed on germ-infested rodents suggests that they encounter pathogenic microbes and likely possess antimicrobials. The venom is used only to paralyze the rodent, but the ability of snakes to counter potential infections in the gut due to disease-ridden rodents requires robust action of the immune system against a broad range of pathogens. To test this hypothesis, crude lysates of different organs of Naja naja karachiensis (black cobra) were tested for antimicrobial properties. The antimicrobial activities of extracts were tested against selected bacterial pathogens (neuropathogenic Escherichia coli K1, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Streptococcus pneumonia), protist (Acanthamoeba castellanii), and filamentous fungus (Fusarium solani). The findings revealed that plasma and various organ extracts of N. n. karachiensis exhibited antimicrobial activity against E. coli K1, MRSA, P. aeruginosa, S. pneumoniae, A. castellanii, and F. solani in a concentrationdependent manner. The results of this study are promising for the development of new antimicrobials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalPathogens and Global Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Acanthamoeba
  • Antimicrobials
  • Black cobra
  • Fungi
  • Infectious diseases
  • Protists


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